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Kentucky’s Children Have Higher Percentage of 'Adverse Childhood Experiences'

Credit Nadezhda Prokudina, 123rf stock photo

 Kentucky’s children have experienced--on average-- more of what’s known as “Adverse Childhood Experiences” than children nationwide.

An Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, can be the death or incarceration of a parent, witnessing or being a victim of violence, or living with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem.

According to a recent report from The National Survey of Children’s Health, about 53 percent of children in Kentucky have had at least one ACE. That’s significantly higher than the national rate of about 46 percent. The report adds those experiences can increase the risk of smoking, alcoholism, depression and other illnesses or unhealthy behaviors.

According to the report, about 32 percent of Kentucky children have a chronic health condition and almost 16 percent have emotional or behavioral health conditions. The survey shows children in the commonwealth also have a lower level of resilience compared to the national average.

In Tennessee, 48 percent of children have had at least one ACE, while the same is true for 47 percent of children in Indiana.

© 2017 WKU Public Radio

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